Westbrook, 33, is coming off a fairly uneven season as the Lakers failed to qualify for the playoffs, or even the play-in tournament. He averaged 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists, though the numbers don’t tell the whole story.
By all accounts, the Lakers are still looking to trade him. They could have no choice but to keep him, again pairing him next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and new coach Darvin Ham sounded just fine with that plan.
“I’m going to expect him to be the same tenacious, high-energy player that he’s been all his entire career,” Ham told reporters. “A lot of that now may have him without the ball in his hand. Most of it now may have it on the defensive end.
“But again, we have to sacrifice. There’s no achieving anything without all parties sharing the load, sacrificing, instead of one-on-one.”
Ham was actually fairly fervent in his support of Westbrook.
“Don’t get it messed up. Russ is one of the best players our league has ever seen,” he said. “There’s still a ton left in that tank.”
Per Spotrac, Westbrook has a base salary of $47,063,478 in 2022-23, “while carrying a cap hit of $47,063,478 and a dead cap value of $47,063,478.”